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Rental Licensing Guide

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Property Maintenance Code (City Code Section 425)

OVERVIEW: To comply with the city's Property Maintenance Code, all rental dwellings must be licensed and inspected annually. The purpose of these procedures is to ensure a safe and healthy environment for all occupants. All rental units must have a valid rental license prior to occupancy. City Code defines a rental dwelling as any dwelling occupied by someone other than the owner of the record.

The following properties are exempt from having to obtain a rental license from the city:
- Properties that have applied for and received Relative Homestead status for property tax purposes.
- Properties exempt from property taxes under Minnesota Statute, section 272.02 because they are a church parsonage.

For a list of common problems found during the inspection, click on the Rental Licensing Guide. This list may be used as a guide to correct items before the inspection, however, it is best to check with city staff about required permits and city code regulations before beginning any correction.

APPLICATION PROCESS AND FEES. The property owner must submit the following forms and appropriate licensing fee.
Rental License Application
(with fillable fields)
Single-family dwelling: $180
Certification of Financial Responsibility
(with fillable fields)
Duplex: $250 (except that the fee is $180 if one of the units is owner occupied)
MnBIN/Social Security Number Request
(with fillable fields)
Triplex: $310 (except that the fee is $250 if one of the units is owner occupied)
Certificate of Compliance Minnesota Workers' Compensation Law forms Fourplex: $370 (except that the fee is $310 if one of the units is owner occupied)

Five units and over: $370 per building plus $24 per unit

INSPECTION PROCESS: Once the Application for Rental Dwelling License and appropriate licensing fee has been received, the property owner or designated manager will be notified by mail of the initial rental inspection. This individual is responsible for notifying the tenants and must be present during all inspections.

After the initial inspection has been completed, any correction orders will be given to the property owner or designated manager. Correction orders must be completed within 30 days of the initial inspection. Once the orders are completed, call 763-531-1143 to schedule a re-inspection.

ISSUANCE AND POSTING OF THE RENTAL LICENSE: Upon satisfactory re-inspection to verify completion of any correction orders, the rental license will be submitted to the City Council for approval and then issued to the property owner via U.S. Mail unless specified otherwise. This rental license must be posted at the rental dwelling. The rental license is valid for twelve months from the date of issuance, unless indicated otherwise.

Alternatively, in cases where there are incomplete correction orders but the inspector has determined that they are not immediate health or safety matters, the City Council may issue a Conditional Rental License to give the property owner up to 60 days to make the corrections and remove the conditional status from the license. If the corrections are not completed, then the rental license will be revoked, the property will be posted as an unlawful rental dwelling, and a new rental license application will be required. If the property continues to be occupied after license revocation, then weekly citations with escalating fines may also be issued.

Occupant contact information is also required on site, for easy access by the property owner, manager, or City Officials, if necessary. This occupant contact information should include the name(s) of all occupants per unit, dwelling unit number, and telephone number.

ANNUAL LICENSE RENEWAL: A Rental License Renewal Application will be sent out approximately 90 days prior to license expiration. The renewal application and appropriate licensing fee must be returned within 30 days (i.e., by the due date indicated on the renewal application) or the owner of the property will be subject to late fees.

Upon receipt of the renewal application and appropriate licensing fee, the property owner or designated manager will be notified by mail of the initial rental inspection and the inspection process will begin for the upcoming year. The inspection process must be initiated prior to the expiration of the current license.

If the property has ceased to be a rental dwelling, or if any of the initial contact information has changed from the original rental application (owner's address, phone number etc., property manager's name and number etc.) it is the responsibility of the property owner to notify the City of Crystal within five business days (763-531-1143), email. The property will continue to be classified as a rental dwelling unless notified, and failure to submit the necessary renewal application without notification may result in penalty.

TRANSFER OF RENTAL LICENSES: Rental licenses are non-transferable. If there is a transfer in ownership of the property, it is the responsibility of the owner to notify the City of Crystal within five business days (763-531-1143), email. Upon notification, the rental license would become void and a new Application for Rental Dwelling License must be submitted by the new owner.

Prior to issuance of a new rental license or renewal of a rental license, license holders are required to certify that the property taxes, utility bills and all state and federal taxes for the property or the business entity applying are current. Also, the applicant must certify that no notice of delinquency or default has been issued or is subject to a payment plan.

Landlords and tenants rights and responsibilities information is available here at the Office of the Minnesota Attorney General's website. The city cannot act as a tenant advocate or provide legal advice to tenants or landlords.

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